Low Self Esteem: Boo Hoo

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Jul 15, 2010 3:46 PM

According to UANews, the University of Arizona department of Mexican American and Raza studies in collaboration with the family studies and human development program conducted a "study" regarding the self esteem of college aged Mexican American students:

A new study finds that college-aged Mexican American students experienced low self-esteem and more stress as a result of proposed legislation in 2008 to eliminate ethnic studies in Arizona schools.

The study was conducted in June by Professor Anna Ochoa O'Leary and Andrea J. Romero in order to gage Mexican American students' reactions to a 2008 proposal, SB 1108, which would have banned ethinic studies programs in any schools receiving state funds. O'Leary is part of the open border activist group Derechos Humanos, which advocates for the elimination of the border fence, amnesty and the removal of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio from office. The group is famous for putting the face of Arpaio as well as Governor Jan Brewer on pinatas while proceeding to beat them with a bat:

We investigated undergraduate student responses to the proposed amendment to the SB 1108 bill and associations with civic engagement, stress, ethnic identity, and mental well being (depressive sypmtoms and self-esteem). Ninety-nine undergraduate students who self-identified as Mexican, Meican American, or Chicana/o completed an online survey.

Their responses indicated that more stress due to SB 1109 was significantly associated with more discrimmination stress, lower self-esteem, and more repressive symptoms.


The study was conducted in response to Arizona recently passing HB 2281 which states:

The Legislature finds and declares that public school pupils should be taught to treat and value each other as individuals and not be taight to resent or hate other races or classes of people. A school district or charter school in this state shall not include in its program of instruction any courses or classes that include any of the following:

1. Promote the overthrow of the United States Government2. Promote resentment toward a race or class of people
3. Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group
4. Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals


Tom Horne, Arizona's Superintendent of Public Schools, talked about the importance of the legistation in May with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren:

In the summer of 1963, when I just graduated from high school, I went on the march on Washington, in which Martin Luther King gave his famous speech in which he said we should be judged by the quality of our character, rather than the color of our skin. And that has been among my deepest beliefs my entire life. And so this has made me opposed to dividing students by race.

In the Tucson school district -- this was what led me to introduce this legislation -- they divide the kids up. They've got Raza studies for the Latino kids. Raza means "the race" in Spanish. African-American studies for the African-American kids, Indian studies for the native American kids and Asian studies for the Asian kids. And they're dividing them up just like the old South.

And I believe that what's important about us is what we know, what we can do, what's our character as individuals, not what race we happen to have been born into. And the function of the public schools is to bring in kids from different backgrounds and teach them to treat each other as individuals.

The ultimate problem seems to be the fact that we do not have educators in the classroom, instead we have activists like Professor O'Leary, as well as Professor Sandra Soto. Soto works extensively with Derechos Humanos through the UA Women's Studies Department and gave this speech at the 2010 School of Social and Behavioral Sciences commencement ceremony.



My question is,since when has it been the duty of the public schools and teachers to make students feel good about themselves and to have high self esteem? Especially adult college students?